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Home > Understanding Breast Cancer > Diagnosis > Stages of Breast Cancer

  


Stages of Breast Cancer

 

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Prognostic Factors
Fact Sheet

The stages of breast cancer range from 0 to IV (0 to 4). Stage depends on the combination of:

For example, a cancer with a T1 tumor (less than 2 cm), no lymph nodes with cancer (N0) and no metastases (M0) is classified as stage I (T1N0M0).

Most often, the higher the stage of the cancer, the poorer the prognosis (chances for survival) will be. The highest stage (stage IV) is any cancer with metastases (M1), no matter the size of the tumor or the lymph node status.

The table below lists the tumor (T), lymph node (N) and metastases (M) classifications.

Stages of Breast Cancer 

Ductal carcinoma in situ  

Stage 0

TisN0M0

Early breast cancer 

Stage Ia

T1N0M0

Stage Ib

T0N1miM0

T1N1miM0

Stage IIa

T0N1M0

T1N1M0

T2N0M0

Stage IIb

T2N1M0

T3N0M0

Locally advanced breast cancer 

Stage IIIa

T0N2M0

T1N2M0

T2N2M0

T3N1M0

T3N2M0

Stage IIIb

T4N0M0

T4N1M0

T4N2M0

Stage IIIc

Any T, N3M0

Metastatic breast cancer 

Stage IV

Any T, any N, M1

Updated 02/05/14

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